Slowly Getting Better

I have really been through it recently, but I am on the mend.

Last Tuesday I had surgery on my lung, it was a success, but surgery had complications and I had a heart attack immediately after. I’m out of intensive care, and I’ve had one chest drain removed. Every day I ask for the other one to be removed, and their response is always “maybe tomorrow”.

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Mental health relapse has been scary this time. I wasn’t depressed, in fact far from it. Life is good and I have so much potential, but the suicidal thoughts were overwhelming. I wasn’t found for three days and had aspirated vomit, and that settled in my right lung. The immediate priority was a stay in intensive care to bring me back from the overdose. This was followed by time on a general ward being treated with anti-biotics as preparation for surgery.

One change of hospital later (to a thoracic hospital) and it was surgery last week. My stay on intensive care was a further 6 days, and 5 days back on the ward.

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I’ve complained about the NHS before, and with very good reason. However, this time I have nothing but praise for the excellent quality of care in both hospitals. Excellent doesn’t sum it up well enough.

I’m grateful to be alive. Very much so, and for that I’m very grateful to people whose names it would be inappropriate to mention. Thankyou all whoever you are.

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I have a hospital acquired skin infection now, which is quite serious. There is a plan in place to deal with it, which will mean being transfered to another hospital. I don’t want to go. I’m tired of hospital, I don’t want a skin graft. Treat the infection – yes. Take away the dead skin – yes. Plastic surgery – no. The wound can be treated with an anti-bacterial/anti-microbial dressing. I don’t care about having a scar.

Any how, life is surprisingly OK in hospital, but I do look forward to getting home.

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I’ve added this into the digital sketchbook side of my blog. I can see that this mini series has potential to be built upon.

Limited Photo Opportunity In Hospital

Sorry for the lack of blog posts or comments recently. I’ve been in hospital for nearly three weeks. I’m getting better slowly, and I have to say that on the whole, the hospital and its staff have been wonderful. It’s one of the better stays that I’ve had in hospital, and I think the staff are doing an incredible job.

Ive been out of it for the past 3 weeks, but slowly coming around and gaining the desire for photography. Here’s a couple to be getting on with.

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Photos As Research

I have been taking photos as I walk around London. These are part of my research for when I begin the degree in Photography with the Open College of the Arts.m. Square Mile is the first assignment. I’m considering shooting in The City and capturing the contrast between wealth and poverty.

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Open Art Collective At Lightbox Woking

Life has got away with me and I find myself writing up my review two weeks late.

It was a pleasure to walk into an exhibition and be able to identify 3 of the photographers by their photography. However, I am going to focus on two pieces that stimulated me, one mentally and one emotionally.

What I find most interesting is that I took the exhibition in over three stages. A brief initial viewing, a more in-depth reflective episode, and a third viewing so I could sit with my grief.

Keith Greenough’s exhibit was of a series of pairs of portraits. There were two photos of each model, There was a time difference of 45 seconds between the first and second portrait. I kinda ignored this series on my first viewing, but my god it drew me in second time around. The photos were almost identical, but then I began to see very slight changes of expression. A slight glint in an eye, a minor movement in the lips. It’s incredible how tiny movements of a muscle can alter expression, emotion and mood. I became fascinated by the models, what they may have been thinking or feeling, and considered how we are in a continuous state of flux. All of these minor waves of energy change the nature of who we are in any given moment. I don’t notice most of these subtle shifts. I define myself as being……. But in reality I cannot know all of the intricacies and inflections of my being. The passage of our lives are defined by the passing of seconds and minutes.

Teresa Lanham’s photography was an expression and journey through her experiences of grief, using macro photography of flowers. She says “The work became a way of re approaching my own life in standing still more often and just see what is there now rather than focusing on an unknown future.”

After my second viewing I went for lunch, and unexpectantly started to cry. Teresa’s photography triggered memories of a period of grief. When I grieve I have a need for space, I become overwhelmed by people, and I vanish fir days. I go to a certain place to reconnect with nature. It becomes a space that can contain my pain. Thank so much Teresa, I healed a little more.

To find out more about the Open Art Collective please visit their website here.

 

Assignment Five – The Process Of Making The Collages

Progress, I feel like I am getting somewhere. Making the collages has been fun, and once I have finished these I will need to create voice recordings for each, and buy the props that will complete the installations. It’s very exciting that I can now see how this will work. The only perceived difficulty is that the final pieces will not show off their full effect as a photo on my blog.

Step 1, making holes

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Step 2, stitching

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Step 3, taping the reverse side

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Step 4, cutting out objects and positioning

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Step 5, making more holes and more stitching

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Step 6, a finished collage

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Step 7, but matching props and photograph them as a still life in front of the collage

Step 8, make voice recording

Step 9, add voice recordings to each collage

My Emotional States Of Anorexia – Assignment Five Update

Yesterday I got 12 photos off to the picture framers for mounting. He understood where I needed the cut outs and why, and took an interest in my art. After speaking with him I felt really secure in the knowledge that he got what I needed.

I have begun the embroidery today. I’m starting with those I will be using for six collages, in which excerpts from Laura Letinsky’s I’ll Form And Void Full will be embroidered onto my face. I’m excited. I also know how I’m going to make the animal masks for my primary version.

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More Masks And Embroidery

Yesterday I had some free time to have a look around the Wellcome Collection. Most interesting was the one mask/collage which included some sewing over the top of photography. Produced by Heidi Kerrison, her collage related to fears in relation to cloning and genetic modification.

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Her work demonstrates that I could use both collage and embroidery to create the effects that I am looking for. I quite like the stitching around the edge of the face, it’s complex and detailed, but I don’t like the sewing around the eyes.

There were other masks which I found interesting, especially the scolds brindle. I could embroider a mask in this style, and add the tongue piece. It would work well to highlight the element of self punishment and restraint that I experienced as a result of my anorexia.

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